COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing News

Last Updated 4/12/2023

Effective May 12, 2023 - Changes to Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Test Kit Coverage: Health New England covered the costs of FDA-authorized, rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests and will continue to cover until the end of the public health emergency (PHE), which will end on May 11, 2023. Any reimbursement requests for test kits purchased before May 12, 2023, must be submitted by November 11, 2023. Any cost sharing waived due to the PHE (i.e., for COVID-19 testing) will return to normal cost sharing effective May 12, 2023. 

Effective 1/15/22 - At-Home Tests: Health New England is reviewing all state and federal guidance related to coverage for over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests starting January 15, 2022. We are working on how to implement this requirement and more information will follow. Please continue to check this page for updates about member reimbursements. Read the Biden-Harris administration announcement here.

Effective 11/17/21 - COVID-19 Boosters Approved for All Individuals 18 and older

Individuals in Massachusetts who are 18 years of age or older and have completed their primary series at least 6 months ago for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or received their J&J vaccine at least 2 months ago are eligible for a COVID-19 booster. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Vaccines Approved for Children and Teens

Learn more here about COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5-11.

Learn more here about COVID-19 Vaccines for Teens Ages 12-17.

COVID-19 Booster Shot Eligibility

Get vaccine booster shot answers here – read Booster FAQs.

For more information, read the Baker-Polito COVID-19 booster press release.

booster shot eligibilty chart 9.24.21.jpg

People Age 12+ Can Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

People age 12 and older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts can get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is safe and effective. You don't need an ID or insurance to get it.Youth age 12 and above can now be pre-registered to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Go to For more information about your vaccine eligibility, visit:

Phase 3 - Vaccination Eligibility Update

People age 16 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. People aged 12-15 years old can preregister now to receive the Pfizer vaccine soon. For more information, go to:

Homebound Individuals

Effective March 29, Massachusetts has developed a Homebound Vaccination Program for people who are unable to leave their home to get a vaccine. If you believe you need an in-home vaccination, please contact the Homebound Vaccination Central Intake Line at (833) 983-0485. Representatives are available Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., to assist in both English and Spanish, and they also have access to translators for over 100 languages. For more information, visit

Phase 2 – Group 4 Vaccination Eligibility Update

Individuals age 60+ and workers in certain sectors (including transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workers are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information, visit

Phase 2 – Group 3 Vaccination Eligibility Update

As of March 11, Massachusetts has expanded the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to K-12 educators, K-12 school staff, and child care workers.

For more information, visit

Phase 2 – Group 2 Vaccination Eligibility Update

As of February 18, Massachusetts has expanded who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to include the following:

  • Individuals age 65 or older 
  • Individuals with two or more specific medical conditions, listed here
  • Residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing 

For more information, go to To find a vaccination location, visit Please be aware that scheduling delays may occur as the vaccine supply is limited.

    Massachusetts Caregiver/Companion COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility
    As of February 11, an individual who accompanies a person age 75 or older to one of four mass vaccination sites to receive the vaccine will be eligible to receive the vaccine too, if they have an appointment booked. Learn more about this new program.

    New Call Center

    The Baker-Polito Administration has established a new call center dedicated to helping residents 75 and older more easily schedule an appointment if they do not have internet or are unable to use the state's website. The call center will be staffed with over 500 representatives who can provide live phone support to assist residents with booking an appointment. The line will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Live call center workers will be available in English and Spanish, and 100 additional languages will be available through translators.

    The line can be accessed by dialing 2–1–1 and selecting the prompt for “Help Scheduling a Vaccine Appointment.” Residents may have to wait on the line given expected high call volume.

    As of February 1, 2021, individuals aged 75 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. See below for how to schedule an appointment. Please be aware that scheduling delays may occur.

    Finding a Vaccination Site 

    Click here to view a map and downloadable list of vaccination sitesThis map will be updated regularly as more vaccination sites are added. Check back often to find a site near you. There is no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine. Be sure to bring your Health New England member ID card (and your Medicare card, if you have one) with you to your vaccination appointment.  

    Information about how to schedule your appointment is available here: 

    COVID-19 Vaccinations for People Ages 75 and Older

    Health New England is monitoring the progress of upcoming vaccine solutions for COVID-19, including the Emergency Use Authorization of vaccine(s) for health care workers and high-risk patients. We plan to have regular updates as the local and national situation evolves, so that we can use the collective wisdom and experience of early use to guide our policies and procedures. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to protect yourself against COVID-19 infection by wearing masks, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and avoiding gatherings in indoor spaces as much as possible. Health New England will be covering the cost of COVID-19 vaccine for members.

    For more information on vaccine distribution, visit

    What You Need to Know About Variants

    Video by CDC

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